I have a friend who’s very kind-hearted. Kids, animals, sick people—she’s sincerely and enthusiastically dedicated to making the world a better place. I love that about her. She’s also a food Nazi. But of course she has no gun and so people don’t have to listen to her. And few do. It’s just too shrill. I love her and even I don’t like being around it. That’s a lot of negative energy and it comes out as a torrent. I eat at vegetarian restaurants with her exclusively because she’ll ruin both our dinners anywhere else. She’ll let the people around her disrupt her inner peace.
Example: We were recently supposed to meet two other friends who had just gotten married in Mexico the previous weekend. They couldn’t make it in the end and so the two of us settled in for some breakfast. Now it’s important to note that the married couple picked the place, so it served meat. At a table next to ours three burly guys were sitting talking about playing board games the night before. They looked friendly, they were polite to the staff and were often smiling and laughing. And my friend hated them.
They were eating bacon. I’m primarily a vegetarian but I will occasionally eat meat and that day I too had ordered bacon with my eggs. So it’s important to note that she had no trouble forgiving me. But those guys. She told me they were probably from the country, like that’s something to be embarrassed about. She came up with all kinds of narratives about what they drove (huge trucks), what they did for a living (rich oil workers), how they spent their money (on strippers and drugs), and how they treated their pets (they beat them).
“You got all this from bacon?!”
“Okay maybe I got some details wrong—but anyone who eats bacon and laughs has no heart.”
“But I’m eating bacon.”
“Yeah, but I know you have a heart.”
“And they don’t?”
“Are you kidding? Look at them.”
Look at them? By this point I’d had a solid 20 minutes of stories about animal torture and abuse, so from my perspective the three burly, laughing guys were looking pretty inviting. Even if everything she said about those guys was true, they could also be great dads and husbands. They could be good, kind, generous neighbours. Or they might be celebrating because one of them just had their child released from the local children’s hospital. At a minimum they would be better breakfast companions than someone who was going on and on about death and disrespect.
Police shows and the evening news have trained us to expect the worst from others when the opposite is far more likely to be true. Look for the best in those around you. Let them be as they are just as you don’t want them telling you how to live. Focus on their qualities and remember that there is no need for an argument within yourself. Only you experience it so it changes nothing. But since that experience is your life, I would suggest you make a more rewarding choice regarding what you include in it.
Don’t surrender your time with loved ones by rolling in negativity. You will have more energy for your world-changing efforts if you have been lifted by the simple joy of being with a friend. Quiet the argument within you. Set yourself free. There are many ways to love a pig.
Enjoy your day.
peas. s 😉
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A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.